Shrinking Cities: The Antidote to Greenfield Development

Developers should be looking to shrinking cities like Detroit and Buffalo, not to greenfields, for future development.

February 21, 2014, 5:00 AM PST

By NicoleFerraro


"Development of 'greenfields,' or previously undeveloped land, is expanding at alarming rates, contributing to degraded environments and isolated, car-dependent communities. This needs to stop," writes Kathleen Bakewell, founder and executive director of BioCities.

"Greenfields have been ravaged by sprawl development for decades. Perversely, at the same time, many American Rust Belt cities have been facing devastating property abandonment and population losses, known as the 'shrinking cities' phenomenon. Could two negatives make a positive?

"In other words, greenfield developers need space and infrastructure. Shrinking cities have excess space and infrastructure. Logic suggests that each could fulfill the needs of the other."

Thursday, February 20, 2014 in Future Cities

Soldier Field

Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject

Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.

October 19, 2021 - Chicago Tribune

A screengrab of the Caharlotte Future virtual open house.

Top Websites for Urban Planning – 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the best of the urban planning Internet.

October 25, 2021 - James Brasuell

An aerial image of the neighborhood of Buckman in Portland, Oregon.

Homeowner Groups Find an Antidote to Zoning Reforms: National Register Historic Districts

Many neighborhoods are moving to create historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places in response to the growing number of states, cities, and neighborhoods loosening single-family residential zones.

October 22, 2021 - Sightline Institute

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.